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Twenty years on: has the economy of the UK coalfields recovered?


  • Christina Beatty
  • Stephen Fothergill
  • Ryan Powell


Almost the whole of the British coal industry has closed since the early 1980s. The authors assess the extent to which the areas once dependent on coalmining have adapted to this job loss. A ‘labour-market accounting’ approach is employed to document the principal changes in employment, unemployment, commuting, and activity rates among men in the English and Welsh coalfields over the period to 2004, building on previous similar research covering the period 1981 – 91. The authors point to a strong recovery of employment among men in these areas, though this is not yet on a scale to offset all the coal job losses and there is important variation between areas. There is also evidence of extensive and continuing ‘hidden unemployment’.

Suggested Citation

  • Christina Beatty & Stephen Fothergill & Ryan Powell, 2007. "Twenty years on: has the economy of the UK coalfields recovered?," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(7), pages 1654-1675, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:39:y:2007:i:7:p:1654-1675

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Drinkwater, 2015. "Informal Caring and Labour Market Outcomes Within England and Wales," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(2), pages 273-286, February.
    2. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:54-67 is not listed on IDEAS

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